Margaret River Wine Region
The Margaret River wine region had its foundations when the Western Australian agronomist Dr. John Gladstones, suggested that the Mediterranean maritime climate of the region would be particularly well suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The Margaret River region has an ideal climate for growing grapes, with its relatively high winter rainfall and warm, dry weather in summer. Altitude is not a significant factor in the Region with most vineyards planted in a band from 50 to 100 meters above sea level. However, proximity to the ocean is a very significant factor for maintaining humidity, and controlling temperatures, both maximums and minimum. Ancient granite bedrock and outcrops of limestone have been broken down to produce pockets of soil that are well suited to premium grape cultivation. Soil types in the Margaret River region vary enormously, the ones most suitable for vineyards, and in particular for the production of premium quality Cabernet Sauvignon comprise a gravelly surface layer sometimes referred to pea gravel with loamy top soil over a clay sub-soil.
Cabernet Sauvignon was first planted in Margaret River in 1967. The very best Cabernet vineyards are planted on forest grove soils where the slope or orientation is not nearly as significant a criterion. Fruit exposure to sunlight is critical for producing high quality wines with ripe tannin structure, this is achieved with canopy management and leaf removal.